Charles Amirkhanian talks with one of America's most distinguished composers, Lou Harrison, whose use of gamelan instruments and interest in other musics of the world helped bring an appreciation of Pacific and Asian music to the U.S. William Colvig has collaborated with Harrison for many years, building original and gamelan-inspired instruments. The program begins with Eric Marin's film documenting Harrison & Colvig, and continues with excerpts from Harrison's Piano Concerto (featuring... Topics: Interview and Music, Unconventional Instruments, New Music Source: Other Minds
A concert recording of “Cardinitas ‘68,” a work for soprano, tape, and instrumental ensemble composed by Robert Erickson. This recording represents the world premiere of the piece on June 5, 1968 at the University of California in San Diego, and features soprano Beverly Ogdon, accompanied by musicians conducted by Alan Johnson. The work was a result of a series of experiments with musical timbre, in which Erickson capitalized on the peculiar non-harmonic overtones produced by bells,... Topics: Music, New Music, Unconventional Instruments, Robert Erickson
From his home in Paris, Russian-born composer Ivan Wyschnegradsky discusses with Charles Amirkhanian his approach to writing microtonal music, and his desire for a "chromatic revolution". He describes his invention of the quarter-tone piano that has two harps controlled by three keyboards, enabling performances by a single player, and elaborates on his subsequent evolution as a composer. Wyschnegradsky focuses on "The Day of Existence", an early work (influenced by Scriabin)... Topics: New Music, interviews, unconventional instruments, composers, Ivan Wyschnegradsky
Margaret Leng Tan performs the world premiere of Errollyn Wallen's Louis' Loops (1999) written for Margaret Leng Tan especially for Other Minds Music Festival 5 in 1999 at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco. Margaret Leng Tan, two toy pianos According to Wallen: This piece is dedicated to my young grandson, Louis Wallen. I was inspired by watching him at play, as well as by seeing Margaret Leng Tan perform in New York last autumn and by the happy afternoon we spent in her Brooklyn home... Topics: Avant-garde, 20th Century Classical, Music, Unconventional Instruments Source: Other Minds
Margaret Leng Tan performs the U.S. premiere of António Pinho Vargas' Dinky Toys (1979), arranged by the composer for her in 1999, at the Other Minds Music Festival in 1999 at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco. Margaret Leng Tan, two toy pianos According to Tan: Dinky Toys and General Complex are originally works for piano. António Pinho Vargas sent them to me with the following instructions: "You can do what you want (change register, organize, improvise, etc.) to play them on your... Topics: Music, Unconventional Instruments, Toy Piano, Other Minds Festival Source: Other Minds
Derk Richardson interviews composer and inventor of the Long String Instrument (LSI), Ellen Fullman, at the Red Poppy Art House, in San Francisco, on February 18, 2009, as part of the ROVA:Arts Improv 21 series of informances. Fullman describes her evolution from a visual artist to musical instrument builder, improviser, composer, and collaborator with various other avant-garde ensembles. Fullman states that her journey of musical discovery began with her impatience at learning traditional... Topics: Improv:21, ROVA, Arts, Ellen Fullman, Interview, Music, Unconventional Instruments
A selection of songs by Harry Partch. The Poems by Li Po include: A midnight farewell; Before the cast of wine; An encounter in the field; On hearing the flute at Lo-cheng; The intruder; I am a peach tree. Windsong is an excerpt from the soundtrack for the film of the same name. It is a modern rendering of the ancient myth of Daphne and Apollo. The music is a collage of sounds, ten instruments are used with Partch playing nearly all the parts. For the studies on Greek scales Partch uses the... Topics: KPFA-FM, Music, Microtonal, Unconventional Instruments, Harry Partch
Harry Partch discusses receiving notariety using a scale of 43 separate tones and original instruments with references to his "Genesis of a Music." There is a brief introduction to "Twelve Intrusions," this recording which is played by five musicians under Partch's direction. The pieces are: Study in an Ancient Phrygian Scale, Study in the Ancient Greek Enharmonic Scale, The Rose, The Crane, The Wind, The Waterfall, The Letter, The Street, Vanity, Lover, Soldiers/War/Another... Topics: Interview and Music, Microtonal music, , Unconventional Instruments, Harry Partch Source: Other Minds
Charles Amirkhanian discusses the music and ideas of Harry Partch on the day after his death. Several examples of his work are played, in addition to brief reminiscences about the man by a number of notable composers and musicians that knew or were influenced by Partch. Topics: KPFA-FM, Documentary, Microtonal Music, Unconventional Instruments, Harry Partch
Henry Brant, born in 1913 in Montreal, surveys his music with Charles Amirkhanian. Brant has enlarged upon musical practices of Gabrielli and Ives to create spatial music. This music calls for the physical separation of different groups of musicians within the performance space who simultaneously perform wildly diverse music in and around the audience. Brant has experimented with unusual instruments some of which have been built specifically for his compositions. During this program you will... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, New Music, Unconventional Instruments, Henry Brant Source: Other Minds
A program dedicated to the marvelous glass instrument, the Cristal, invented by the Baschet brothers of Paris in 1956. Consisting of glass rods, the Cristal is played by rubbing the rods with wet fingers, the way one would a wine glass, the vibrations of which are then acoustically amplified through a series of metallic resonators Host Charles Amirkhanian is joined in the KPFA studios by David James, Jerry Kuderna, Peter Josheff and Annie Hallett, who play a number of pieces live as well as... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Unconventional Instruments, 20th Century Classical
Since it began publishing in 1982 the magazine, “Experimental Musical Instruments”, has exposed a growing readership to dozens of very unusual instruments and approaches to music-making. This bi-monthly 16 page newsletter also featured reviews of concerts, books, and records as well as an expanding letters section which acted as a forum for music enthusiasts. On the cover of the inaugural issue, editor Bart Hopkin states that “EMI is for people interested in new and unconventional musical... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Unconventional Instruments, Avant-Garde,...
Moderator Derk Richarson facilitates a session with composer Cheryl Leonard, who talks about her work utilizing materials from nature as musical instruments, and performs several excerpts from longer pieces with her own chamber ensemble. Amplifying everything from pine cones, pieces of driftwood, rock, sand, water, and other natural objects, Leonard composes works that are surprisingly textured and full of unusual rhythms. During this program she talks about how she finds or builds her... Topics: ROVA, Improv:21, Avant-Garde, Unconventional Instruments, Interview and Music, Cheryl Leonard
Recorded on March 17, 1988 as part of the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Speaking of Music series, Charles Amirkhanian talks with one of Europe's most original and distinguished composers. Mauricio Kagel was born in Buenos Aires in 1931 and has lived in Germany since 1957. He is also known as a dramatist, filmmaker, radio drama producer, and conductor. In the first half of the program excerpts from "Ludwig Van"", a collage of Beethoven fragments, and "Acustica" a piece... Topics: Speaking of Music Series at the Exploratorium, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, Unconventional...
A concert of Lou Harrison, (with one piece by Carlos Chávez), performed at The Old Spaghetti Factory in San Francisco on January 24, 1971. Works include music for Solo Piano by Lou Harrison, a Sonatina by Chávez, and selections from a Young Caesar, a puppet opera with unconventional instruments by Lou Harrison with libretto's by Robert Gordon. This is the first performance of the opera. Topics: KPFA-FM, Lou Harrison, Music, New Music, Unconventional Instruments, Piano Music
Fred Frith joins Charles Amirkhanian for a brief discussion on Hans Reichel, a musician/friend/collaborator, and "a master craftsman" of guitars. (Frith and Reichel performed together later that week). Frith also comments on the noise/free music/improv scene, and his compositional work at the time. Program portion ends with selection of Frith's "Technology of Tears", a piece written for dance. Topics: Fred Frith, Interview, Free Improvisation, Unconventional Instruments, KPFA-FM, Hans Reichel
In the first Morning Concert broadcast from the new building, Charles Amirkhanian interviews Howard Hersh about his new piece, Shrapnel in the Heart. Charles also plays a number of selections from a new release on Saydisc Records entitled "Music of the Hurdy-Gurdy". Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Music, 20th Century Classical, Unconventional Instruments
Charles Amirkhanian interviews Trimpin, a sculptor and composer who builds his own electronically controlled acoustic instruments. Topics: Speaking of Music Series, Trimpin, Unconventional Instruments, Interview and Music,...
The first in a series of programs produced by Peter Yates, highlighting the works of Harry Partch. This program begins with an excerpt from one of Partch's pieces followed by a 1960 interview of Partch by Peter Yates in which he discusses his career. Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Microtonal Music, Unconventional Instruments, Harry Partch
A recording of a concert of new music held on August 26, 1963 at the Pocket Theatre in New York City as a benefit for the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts. According to a New York Times review the star of the event was a rhythmic music machine created by the Fluxus artist and composer Joe Jones. The machine, called a Melchior (sp?), looked like a coat tree and included two violins, metronomes, a clock, some Japanese wood chimes, a fan, and apparently a small steam engine, under... Topics: KPFA-FM, Music, New music, Mechanical musical instrument music, Unconventional Instruments,...